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Global elite migration in the pandemic era: Is this the end of the global elite?

November 04, 2021
12:00 PM EDT - 1:00 PM EDT
Online via Zoom
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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have witnessed a dramatic series of forced lockdowns and even more challenging reopenings with ambivalent procedures in countries around the world. This has created uneasy conditions for global elite migrants, including transnational artists (such as opera singers or ballet dancers) and athletes (such as hockey or rugby players). The wide-scale closures of opera houses, athletic arenas and other outlets of cultural activity have had an important impact on the lives of these global artists and athletes who lead transnational lives, living and working in between countries. In many cases, they do not have permanent jobs but rotate globally on short-term contracts and depend on the income from each performance. The pandemic has illustrated that global elite artists and athletes are among one of the most vulnerable migrant categories at times of world crises.

To better understand the dynamics of global elite migrations in the post-pandemic age, our panelists explored:

  • How have elite migrants been impacted by the pandemic, lockdowns and reopening policies, under constantly changing conditions?
  • How have those experiences shaped their transnational careers and their attitudes to transnationalism, or to living and working in more than one country?
  • To what extent have elite migrants preserved their ‘transnational elite’ status? Do they remain niche professionals in high demand who shape global culture and generate agglomerate remittances?
  • How shall we now understand the concept of ‘elite migrant’ and what is the future of global elite migrations in the post-pandemic age?

Panelists included:

  • Irina Isaakyan, Senior Research Associate, CERC Migration, Ryerson University
  • Geoffery Kohe, Senior Lecturer, School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, University of Kent
  • Agnieszka Weinar, Adjunct Professor, Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University

Chair: Anna Triandafyllidou, Canada Excellence Research Chair in Migration and Integration, Ryerson University